Gay Times June 10 - Issue 381
Mathew Horne is currently reinventing himself playing Culture Club’s Jon Moss – Bob Henderson spoke to him about the new BBC drama, Worried About The Boy, Mat’s strange relationship with Kylie and putting the record straight about perceived “homophobic” sketches.
We’re at our exclusive (clang!) photoshoot and Mat Horne is perched on the roof. Someone mentions Mary Poppins. His stylist Donald (who also worked on Worried About The Boy and back in the day, Boy George himself) quips that he’s sat up there “like a big Mary”. There are sniggers and a knowing glare is shot in the stylists direction.
More from Gay Times June 10 - Issue 381
“I’ve worked with my stylist and make-up guy for years,” says Mat afterwards, “so actually it’s quite nice having people around that you trust. When you’re in these situations they’re all a bit odd. I quite like doing photo shoots but it’s quite weird when you’ve got everybody looking at and scrutinising you.”
Mat has had more than his fair share of scrutiny over the past couple of years. Getting an early break on The Catherine Tate show, he was soon to be seen everywhere as part of the comedy duo Horne and Corden, from their ill-fated sketch show, to the award-drenched Gavin and Stacey.
“In the last couple of years I suppose I’ve felt more scrutinised than ever before because of the stuff I’ve done has been of a certain profile. There’s a real luxury in anonymity,” he chuckles his gentle infectious laugh. He’s quite critical of the British media and some of the nonsense they’ve printed about him.
“It’s slightly embarrassing that certain newspapers write certain things. Ones that you wouldn’t expect to write those things!”
Part of this attention brings our one-track minds onto one thing. The fact that he must, certainly, obviously and undoubtedly get a lot of attention from The Gays.
“Yeah, yeah. It’s less so now though, I think it’s because people know that I’m straight now. A while ago if I was ever seen on the telly it was a bit ambiguous, which is always good to be, to keep people on their toes. But less so now, but there’s always been a healthy gay following. But y’know when I did Catherine Tate, that’s a pretty camp show. I suppose it’s to be expected from that.”
It’s not just that. Playing Boy George’s ex-boyfriend will no doubt add a few more to the list, and there was that stint playing Sloane in the Joe Orton play Entertaining Mr Sloane…
“Yeah, do you know I’d forgotten about that. That wasn’t a conscious thing, he’s just my favourite playwright and I wanted to do it! But I guess seeing the Pet Shop Boys applauding me at the end of one of those shows is enough of an indication.”
It would be easy to say Horne has been doing “gay” roles of late, but they’re a bit more sexually ambiguous than that...
“I guess so, I’d not thought of that either. Jon was, before he met George, straight and is straight now… I mean from what I gather, it was George that turned him. I think it was pretty free and easy at that time, for his friendship group and peers, it seemed like George turned him, made it full on. And Sloane is certainly up for anything. Jon’s probably not quite as evil as Sloane…” He’s using humour there, folks. Having met the real life Jon Moss and worked closely with him (so close that Moss lent him some of his old clothes for the film) it’s clear they got on well.
“Jon was brilliant, I was really nervous about meeting him because I knew he was quite head strong and quite hard… and Jewish,” Mat laughs, “I thought ‘Ah God I hope he’s alright about this’.
“He was very candid about his relationship with George and all the other stuff that went with that time and being in a band and it really helped. Because you know it’s about, from my side of things, his relationship with George and his role within the band. And those two things are obviously intrinsically linked, but they’re the two main cruxes for Jon in the film.”
So what were the most useful insights Jon Moss gave Mat for the role?
“He was very straight down the line,” Mat says emphatically.
“Yes he had a relationship with George. He completely loved George. Yes it was volatile. I asked him about the arguments and how they made up, how the arguments started and then stopped. Also his role within the band, I got quite indepth about that, who lead the band, who did what in the band – apart from playing the instruments. The script was really accurate but just to have that confirmed by Jon was good for me.”
There's much more, including Kylie chat and Lesbian Vampire Killers and all that jazz. It's all in the June issue out now